CentreFest to take over City’s downtown

  • Jul. 23, 2014 4:40 p.m.

CentreFest is set to kick off Friday with a free barbeque at City Hall Park and sneak peek of festival performers.

The festival, which is in its 12th year, will take place downtown at Ross St. and Gaetz Ave. July 26-27th.

The festival runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

“We’re all set and we’re ready to go. It’s exciting,” said Janice Shimek, festival director. “The performers are booked and everything is falling into place.”

More than 28,000 people attended last year, and while the Circle Shows are at the Festival’s core, audiences can enjoy food and markets onsite as well.

Performers run the gamut from ‘Thom Sellectomy’ – an unparalleled street raconteur that will make a crowded hall or the busiest of streets feel like an intimate living room as he invites you to listen to tales of 20-plus years on the road, while he does all of the things mother said you should never try at home.

David Graham and Tobin Renwick (The Red Trouser Show) display a combination of precision acrobatics with high skill knife and fire juggling.

Josette and Francoise Lepine – The Kif-Kif Sisters – are a charming cocktail of funny theatre, puppetry, circus, magic and typically French craziness, organizers say.

They will juggle with umbrellas, make French fries appear at a crazy speed, fight with giant pink monsters and even enter into big balloons.

John Park (The Funny Waiter Show) – the water routine, scarf dancing routine, marshmallow routine and plate spinning routine are all guaranteed to delight with their originality, novelty and comedy.

Park started out as a street performer on San Francisco’s Pier 39. His six-foot unicycle finale towers over the crowd and can be seen from miles away and his plate-spinning finale whips the crowd into a frenzy as they yell out which plate is most in danger of falling.

Pogo Fred is a multiple Guinness World Record holder who puts on an acrobatic, extreme, stunt pogo show. He jumps more than 7 ft. into the air while performing flips, outstanding tricks and stunts on his next generation and 10-foot tall pogo sticks.

After a successful run with the Big Apple Circus, Rob Torres also returns to Red Deer. For the past two decades Torres has traveled to more than 45 countries performing in theatres, circuses, varieties, galas, TV and film.

Torres has blended his formal training in theatre, circus arts and pantomime together to create genuinely fun and memorable acts. From the moment he walks on stage, into the ring or on the streets, he steps into the hearts of his audience and keeps them laughing long after he’s gone.

Shimek added a new featured area that will be included in the Festival this year is called Circus World. Children will be able to learn a variety of circus skills from actual performers.

“I think everyone should come and enjoy CentreFest. There is a lot of spontaneity, it’s very engaging to the audiences and there is a lot of laughter,” she said. “This is something we don’t get to see normally in Red Deer.”

For more information, check out www.centrefest.com.